Meet Maria Kalaitzandonakes

I’m a CoMo native with a mile-long last name. I’m a sucker for wool socks, classic Coca Cola and afternoon naps. If I had a pet, I’d dub it Pigwidgeon, or maybe Alastor. I’ve stood right in between Asia and Europe, eaten my weight in lamb meat and walked the Great Wall. I’m fluent in Greek and a little wobbly in Spanish. I’ve broken my arm and lost five pairs of glasses. And I say “both” with an L, as in boLth, like a true Missourian.

Before I became a tiger, I was a bruin, at Columbia’s very own Rock Bridge High School. There I got my start in agriculture and journalism. I ran the student newspaper and magazine, learning that I had a love for storytelling. As a tutor at RBHS for refugee students and hearing about their journeys, I found the most desperate and real need throughout the world is food. Stunted growth and susceptibility to disease was common for my students who lived in refugee camps, who had suffered malnutrition. So, to change that, or at least make a tiny dent, I decided to study agriculture.

CAFNR is where I call home right now, as an Agricultural Economics and Science and Agricultural Journalism double-major student. Someday I may use this degree for a career in agricultural public policy or foreign agricultural services. But for now, I’m just a freshman with some pretty blurry pipe dreams.

I’m a Corner Post staff writer.

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